Call for papers: Reformation on the record

Title page of the Valor Ecclesiasticus (Church Valuation), commissioned by Henry VIII 1536

Title page of the Valor Ecclesiasticus (Church Valuation), commissioned by Henry VIII 1536 (E 344/22)

We are calling for papers on Reformation research that has been conducted using records from The National Archives, for presentation at a two-day conference, taking place in November 2017.

  • Submission deadline: 30 April 2017
  • Conference dates: 3 and 4 November 2017

2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, with the promulgation of Martin Luther’s 95 theses. The National Archives holds an enormous collection of public records that document the changes and continuities in governance of the Church and State in 15th, 16th and 17th century Britain and Ireland, and shed light on religious practices and popular piety. Many of these records have not been used extensively in the historiography and have the potential to offer deeper insight into this period.

It is our intention to create a network of scholars and postgraduates researching the Reformation using our documents, and to develop the profile of The National Archives as a hub for Reformation studies. The conference will form a key part of the network, bringing together current research on the Reformation and drawing on the holdings of The National Archives.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers on topics, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • reaction to Church government – heresy and Lollardy, anti-clericalism and anti-papalism
  • Henry VIII as ‘Defender of the Faith’
  • the development and spread of Protestant writings
  • the Break with Rome and its impact upon Church and State
  • developing Reformation legislation and public reaction – Pilgrimage of Grace, Lincolnshire rebellion
  • dissolution of the monasteries/chantries – resulting realignment of goods, lands and properties
  • impact on the individual – how popular piety was reflected through the surviving evidence
  • Catholic survival and recusancy
  • spies and lies – the development of Reformation-related plots
  • comparisons between Henrician/Edwardian/Marian/Elizabethan Reformation settlements
  • recording the Reformation – what we can learn from the surviving documents; comparisons with records held in other archives/other types of evidence

All reasonable travel expenses for UK-based speakers will be reimbursed.

If you would like to submit a paper, please send abstracts of up to 250 words to Marianne Wilson, using the email format

Tags: call for papers, conference, news, reformation, religious history